Peter and Katherine Naumann Krieger

(Anna) Katherine Naumann

Peter Krieger

Parents: Elisabeth Feussner and Christian Naumann

Parents: Margaretha Kaletsch and Johannes Krieger

Born: January 25, 1822 in Gossfelden, Hesse, Germany

Born: November 14, 1818 in Colbe, Hesse, Germany

Married: October 28, 1849 to Peter Krieger in Gossfelden

Married: October 28, 1849 to Katharina Naumann in Gossfelden

Died: August 16, 1901 in Gossfelden (in house #68½)

Died: May 30, 1885 in Gossfelden (in house #68½)

Interred: Gossfelden

Interred: Gossfelden

Occupation: shepherd

Katherina was the daughter of a landed farmer in Gossfelden. When she wished to marry the local shepherd, apparently since she was about two months pregnant, her father disowned her. Taking pity on her, her brothers bought her land on which she could build a house -- #68½ in Gossfelden -- one half housed the chickens and pigs, and the other half housed the family. I assume that her mother probably also helped her out, as Katherina named all three daughters Elisabeth. While we don't know the familiar name of the oldest daughter, we do know the youngest one was known as Elsabeth from Elizabeth's story of why she left Gossfelden. Life was brutal for Katherina, having come from a home of plenty; she did not have enough food to adequately feed her children. 1855 must have been particularly difficult for Katherine -- she lost two of her three children, while she was pregnant with Johannes. Katherina lived in this little house the rest of her life, and it must have seemed quite crowded too -- first with Peter's parents living with them, and then with her son Johann Heinrich and his family. But Katherina was no child when she chose her life: she was 27 and Peter was 30 when she got pregnant.

Peter Krieger was a shepherd in Gossfelden. In each village there was a small house to be inhabited by the local shepherd. Shepherds were the sons of farmers, who did not find work on a farm; in order to support their own family, they became shepherds. Usually they would travel from village to village to look for work, living temporarily in the local shepherd home. In those days, farmer's daughters usually married into other farming families; marriage to a shepherd would have been frowned upon. While Elizabeth's story clearly describes Katherine's discontent with her family's poverty, it must not have been easy for Peter either, and he apparently turned to alcohol. However, it is clear from Elizabeth's story that he was also kind-hearted and protective of his children. Son Johann Heinrich inherited the house at 68½ while sister Elsabeth moved to the Busch house #64. The house then was inherited by Johann Heinrich's daughter. How hard it must have been for both parents to have their two oldest surviving children leave home at age 14 to emigrate to America, never to see them again in the intervening 35 years, relying only upon infrequent trans-Atlantic letters and pictures.

Katherine Naumann Krieger

1869-1885 Photo Gallery

Peter Krieger

German census: 1871, 1875, 1880, 1885, 1890, 1895, 1900, but are statistical enumerations only with no personal information,



Date of Birth, Place

Date of Death, Place

Married - date and to whom

# children

1. Elisabeth

5/17/1850 Gossfelden

12/9/1855 Gossfelden



2. Elizabeth Christina

8/24/1852 Gossfelden

1/27/1927 Waterloo, Iowa

10/29/1871 to William Widmann in Waterloo, IA


3. Michael

10/1/1854 Gossfelden

2/4/1855 Gossfelden



4. Johannes

12/17/1855 Gossfelden

1933 Waterloo, Iowa

Mary in Waterloo, IA


5. Elisabeth "Elsabeth"

6/10/1858 Gossfelden

1/23/1916 Gossfelden

3/26/1883 Henrich Busch from Sterzhausen

7 (photo)

6. Johann Heinrich

2/17/1862 Gossfelden

8/19/1894 Gossfelden

8/22/1886 Katharina Feussner from Sterzhausen



the Krieger family circa 1869, just before John emigrates - from left: Heinrich, Kathrine, John, Peter, Elsabeth
A page of pictures of Gossfelden and Marburg, with the church bells of St. Elizabeth Church of Marburg. Gossfelden is perhaps best known for the illustrations of the Brothers Grimm stories by Ubbelohde. It is a small town, and in Katherina and Peter's day mostly people walked the 6 km (just less than 4 miles) to Marburg for the market and important church events like confirmations.

*Note: the information on the children was provided in handwritten form in 2003 by Anna Nauman, Sarnau Hauptstr. 16, 35094 Lahntal Germany. She researched the Gossfelden and Marburg church records at the archives in Marburg, and wrote a book about the 107 homes in Gossfelden. She sent me the relevant pages from the book, and hand-written notes about the family history. Records are not released outside Germany; records after 1830 are kept in the parsonage in Gossfelden; ealier records are archived in Marburg.

"Gossfelden - Grenzgang 1995" -- genealogical book on the families and houses of Gossfelden -- selected pages (whole book was not mailed to me):
cover (by Historian Anna Naumann)
house #5 "Weigands" (~p.20-21)(Weigand Naumann 1756-1819)(Michael Naumann 1782-1836)(Johann Henrich Naumann 1814-1872)
house #10 "Lettermanns"(p.30-31)(Kurt Engle 1570-?)(Heinrich Naumann 1648-1707)(Michael Naumann 1684-1747)(Johannes Naumann 1715-1785), p.2 (p.32-33)
house #60 "Kriegers"(p.180-181)(Johannes Krieger 1762-1836)(Johannes Krieger 1799-1863)
house #63½ "Chrests" (p.188-189)(Christian Naumann 1795-1855)(Michael Naumann 1825-1901)
house #68½ "Dippels" (p.204-205)(Peter Krieger 1818-1885)

My translation of the "Krijersch" (Kriegers) page: The shepherd Johannes Krieger of Oberweimar and Katharina Muth of Michelback were wed in 1787 in Gossfelden and were owners of House #60. The couple had six known children; it may have been more because a shepherd could also house his family where he was herding sheep if the accommodations were suitable. Thus the youngest son, Johannes Krieger Jr., was born in Colbe in 1799. He was a Shore-attendant [probably ran the bridge that went across the River Lahn] in Gossfelden, inherited House #60 and in 1828 married Anna Elisabeth Linker, daughter of schoolmaster Valentin Linker of Gossfelden. Two daughters were born from this union, both named Elisabeth. Elisabeth I married Johann Heinrich Muller from “Hans” in 1853 and inherited the house. Elisabeth II married Henrich Grebe of “Backes.” Johann Heinrich Muller and Elisabeth Krieger had four sons and two daughters; the two daughters were stillborn and one of the sons died at age two. The oldest son Johannes Muller married Anna Margaretha Althaus of “Enn.” Their son Johann married Anna Katharina Fischer of “Sanmeiersch” in 1911. In 1913 they bought the neighboring house #61 (previously called “Schlipps”) and moved there as their own home became unfit for living in 1914.

My translation of the "Dippels" page: Shepherd Peter Krieger, who was born in Colbe but resided in Gossfelden house #60, married Catherine Naumann of “Chrests” in 1849. They built their house onto “Chrests,” making it into a double-house, with the Krieger part becoming number 68½. Six children were born; a boy died at age 4 months and a girl at age 5½ years of age. The youngest son, Johann Heinrich Krieger, married Catharina Feussner of Sterzhausen in 1886. His sister Elisabeth married Henrich Busch from Sterzhausen, and lived in the “Busch” house #64. The daughter of J. H. and Katharina Krieger, Catherine, married Peter Opper from Unterrosphe in 1924. Their son Konrad Heinrich Opper married Catherine Fey of Gossfelden. The family Opper constructed a new house in Unterrosphe and sold house #68½ to Henrich Dippel of Mellnau and his wife Katharina Althause of “Petersch.” After the death of Heinrich Dippel in 1985, his widow Katharina Dippel became the owner of the property.

Note: my translations are not precise, as I do not know German; the automatic translators available on the internet were used, so these are subject to errors.

It is curious that granddaughter Elisabeth's story insinuates that Christian disowned his daughter, and that it was the brothers who gave her the land. The Gossfelden genealogy book states that the addition made the house into a "Doppelhause" implying that the Krieger home abutted the Naumann home; if so, my guess is that this addition was not made until after Christian died and Michael owned the home; the Kriegers probably lived in shepherds' cottages until then (1849-1855+), with no permanent home until after 1855. However, with the number being 68½ and not 63½, perhaps it was on another property and not property that originally belonged to the Nauman estate, and Katherina's brothers bought her the property and built the house soon after the marriage.

The first systematic population on the European continent was taken in 1719 in Prussia (roughly corresponding to today's northern Germany and western Poland). It is not thought this would be useful for any of our family members. Prior to 1871 many German counties organized various local census records, however most of the results did not survive World War II. The German census of 1895 was one of the first full-scale German censuses, organized on all territories of the German Empire. It gives detailed info on population, property, religion and nationality in all German territories. But there are criticisms that it is inaccurate (artificially increasing the number of ethnic Germans, lowering the number of Catholics). Attempts to introduce a census in West Germany sparked such resentment in the 1980s that the Constitutional Court stopped it, and Germany uses population samples instead.

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